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Ode to Riva-Lake

Ever since I was little, I wanted a sister. I grew up with a brother two and a half years older than me. Though I love him and have grown up with him, I always wanted a sister and a bigger family. In the summer of 2010, I found my extended family at Camp Riva-Lake.

My mom and I first heard about Riva-Lake from a family friend and thought we’d give it a try. I have always been a “happy-go-lucky” girl, so of course I was up for any new experience at the young age of 10. The moment we drove through the gates of CRL, I knew I had found my new place. A retreat just for me, a summer home, a safe haven. Little did I know, Camp Riva-Lake would shape me into the person who I am today, and crazy enough, CRL would change my life.

I am eternally grateful to my parents for sending me to camp, and I am thankful for the lessons I have learned from CRL and the people there. Eight summers later, I could not imagine my life without camp.

Camp has taught me so much, and without my experiences on Tim’s Ford Lake, I would not have grown into the person who I am today. Camp has taught me:

  1. Unplugging is more important than you know. Today, everyone is glued to their phones, computers, and social media. Camp allowed me to unplug from the bustle of technology and traffic.

  2. Trying out new things is always worth it. I knew no one the day I drove through the CRL gates, but I immediately found friends. And eight years later, I still drive through those gates every July. Find new friends, try new food, go swimming in the lake, sing new songs.

  3. Everyone should go to summer camp. No matter if you are an only child, or if you have seven siblings, everyone should go to summer camp. I have friends all around the country, I know how to live in harmony with cabin full of girls, I have learned valuable leadership lessons, I have learned a range of skills that I would not have learned if it had not been for camp activities.

  4. Sisterhood is the glue that holds us all together. Enough said.

  5. I owe it all to Riva-Lake. The people at camp and the lessons I have learned have shaped me for who I am today. I am eternally grateful to my parents, my new found friends, and Riva-Lake.

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